Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Heyer Biography Points Finger at Cartland

A biography of Georgette Heyer that will be published this coming autumn reveals that the author was livid at Dame Barbara Cartland in the 1950s for lifting some of her work. The Guardian explains:
Angry at the similarities between Cartland's Knave of Hearts (“When it was discovered that the notorious Duke of Melcombe had become the guardian of Ravella Shane, Society was shocked. For the Duke was a gambler, a roué, a man not to be trusted, while Ravella was young, innocent, beautiful and rich”) and her own These Old Shades, Heyer told her agent “I think I could have borne it better had Miss Cartland not been so common-minded, so salacious and so illiterate. I think ill enough of the Shades, but, good God! That 19-year-old work has more style, more of what it takes, than this offal which she has written at the age of 46!”
Though Cartland and Heyer never duked it out, Heyer later said that, though Cartland didn’t acknowledge the accusations, “the horrible copies of my books ceased abruptly.”

Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller
by Jennifer Kloester will be published in the UK in October.


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